An early morning meeting, 10:00am (well it is Sunday) at the Seven Stars. There was a distinctly Autumnal feel to the start of the day but the copper beeches near to Bramdean were looking absolutely magnificent. As we drove along the A272 the book about this road came to mind. This has recently been revised and now has 272 pages!
Having left one car at The Milbury’s Pub, we drove on to Cheesefoot Head, our starting point for today, and previously the scene of the Boom Town Music Festival. However, it is also famous for having been the place where General Eisenhower spoke to US troops just before D Day.
We had not been walking long before we met 2 northern lads (ok they were probably 70!!) who were on the first leg of their own odyssey to do the South Downs Way in 8 consecutive days. After some banter they were on their way, and we were left to appreciate the great views and the remnants of the Festival, including large numbers of Portaloos.
There were quite a number of walkers out today and no cyclists, at least on our path. It was a glorious day, and we were making good progress ….. or so we thought until we saw our 2 lads heading back towards us. Were we about to receive an offer we could definitely refuse? They had realised that they (and therefore we) must have missed a turning as we were heading East, which should have been South. Back we all went, and took another turn, which seemed to be right, and yet, it wasn’t a very well- trodden path.
We were suddenly alerted to someone calling us, and after realising it wasn’t someone we knew, waited to see what she wanted.
Ah, we were on private land, so profuse apologies all round, redirections given and off we went again, this time we did find the correct path. However, it was a very easy mistake to make, the sign post was not obvious, and having been told by the lady that everyone makes the same mistake, we were amazed that there was no sign saying “Keep out, you stupid walkers” !!!!
Across the A272, into Holden Farm and time for lunch. Here we saw the largest ever number of solar panels on one roof. Most of the last mile or so was on a very minor road, uphill of course, and having done at least a mile more than we had anticipated, The Milbury’s was a very welcome sight. We did 5.5 miles today, the usual Diet Coke and crisps were much appreciated while we watched several horses and carts driving away.